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TAIWAN FUN MAGAZINE,
DunHua (TunHua) North Road
Tel: (02) 2712-1201 ext. 2168, 2169
Hours: 11:30 am-3 pm lunch; 6-11 pm dinner
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& Thai: A classy, spicy way to satisfy an appetite
By Josephine Lin Pictures provided
by Mandarina Crown Hotel Translated by Lisa Chiu
Although hot summer
temperatures often have a depressing effect on appetites,
the food at Thai & Thai, located in the Mandarina
Crown Hotel, seems immune to such seasonal swings. The
restaurant's five-star gourmet Thai dishes, available
for reasonable prices, make this establishment a great
option among the growing number of Thai eateries in
Thai & Thai's head chef
is not only from Thailand, but is a woman. This is impressive
in itself as there are not many female hotel chefs in Taiwan.
Equally impressive is her authentic Thai cooking, which includes
dishes from all over Thailand, from dishes favored by commoners
to those reserved for the royal family.
Thai food is healthy and natural.
A large amount of imported spices is used during cooking.
Seafood plays a large role in Thai dishes and this is reflected
at Thai & Thai, where a chef¡¦s specialty
is grilled perch (NT$480). To make this dish, the fish is
deboned and stuffed with citronella grass, lemon grass and
other spices, then wrapped in a banana leaf and cooked in
the oven. For those who like their food spicy, try adding
this restaurant's specially-made hot sauce. Or, order the
lemon fish steamed with chili peppers (NT$480). Fresh fish
is covered in red chili peppers and garlic. In order to maintain
the taste of this dish, it is served on a hot plate, heated
by an open flame.
Shrimp lovers will not be
disappointed with the deep-fried shrimp cakes (NT$250). The
cakes feature juicy shrimp bits on the inside and are crispy
on the outside. Satay, another popular dish in Thailand, is
coming into its own in Taipei. Thai & Thai is one of the
few places offering shrimp satay in addition to chicken and
pork versions. Try the satay with curry sauce or the chef's
special sauce made from fish paste, cucumbers, red onion and
hot chili peppers for a real South Pacific taste.
Thai curry is made with fresh
coconut milk to enhance the texture and taste. At Thai &
Thai, there are three kinds of curry--green, yellow and red.
Chef Rapeeporn Sillapakit explains, "Green curry is lighter
in taste than the other kinds of curries and, thus, is best
served with seafood and chicken. As for red curry, also called
peanut curry, its sweet peanut taste goes best with beef.
Yellow curry is more complicated and has a strong flavor.
It is divided into two types, one for seafood and one for
other types of meat." The most popular curry dish is
the green curry chicken (NT$190), cooked with 20 spices and
served with Thai-style eggplant. The taste is a bit spicy
but rich in flavor, which makes it a satisfying dish, especially
when served with rice.
There are more than 30 types
of desserts available. The Thai-style coconut custard (NT$120)
is another of this restaurant¡¦s specialties.
It has a smooth texture, although it contains shredded coconut,
and is mildly sweet. Wild yam sesame soup (NT$120) is a features
wild yam, a Taiwanese favorite, served Thai dessert-style.
Other South Pacific desserts are also served including coconut
pudding (NT$120) and coconut milk tapioca (NT$120). These
desserts not only taste great but are low in calories. Drinks
include orchid tea (NT$100) and coconut milk (NT$100).
Tired of the city's hectic
pace? Treating yourself to a nice meal in this beautifully
decorated restaurant will conjure up images of sun-drenched
sandy beaches. However, before you start to enjoy this fantasy,
be sure and make a reservation and to get a jump start on
other culinary escapists heading for Thai & Thai.